Different countries have laws guiding the protocols for managing a sperm donor program. The laws require fertility clinics to conduct tests and question candidates as a guide on who can become a sperm donor. They also ensure that people do not abuse sperm donation to overcome childlessness. These legal protocols apply in coordinating local and international sperm donation programs.
Why Create Families Through A Sperm Donor Program?
Sperm donation is one solution that effectively solves male infertility problems. It is used by couples when the male partner’s reproductive system cannot generate viable sperm. Some rare genetic conditions and health problems that damage the testes, such as cancer and mumps. This can make the man unable to produce sperm.
Some patients suffer conditions that make their sperm unviable to complete the fertilization process. Low sperm count, sexual dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, and defective sperm contribute to male infertility. Infections, autoimmune disorders, and an injured or naturally impaired reproductive system drive the need for sperm donation services.
Male infertility is not the only reason people seek sperm donation. Others in society who seek services from a sperm donor program include single women, transgender people, and people in same-sex unions. Others consider it an option in fertility preservation.
Becoming A Sperm Donor
Many people think sperm donation is an easy and quick process. Far from it- it is an involving and lengthy process where few qualify. In some fertility centers, only about 3% of their applicants meet the donor requirements. To determine suitability, the candidates undergo strict screening on their medical backgrounds, health conditions, and lifestyle.
A sperm donation center accepts male candidates in their prime, between 18 and 38 years old. As the donation process kicks off, the clinic advises the candidates to avoid ejaculation in the 3 days before the semen collection. The candidates undergo counseling and a psychological assessment before donating. If they pass that evaluation, the clinic collects the first sperm sample from them.
Their samples undergo semen screening to confirm their viability. If the semen analysis shows the sample meets the required standards, the donor completes a questionnaire where he supplies personal information and a background check on medical history.
Personal information nullifies the possibility of inbreeding. The clinic has a confidentiality clause. The concealment of the donor’s identity depends on whether he participates as an anonymous donor recruited by the clinic or as a known donor. The prospective recipient knows a known donor of the sperm.
The bio-data also tracks the donating history of the donor since the law limits the number of times an individual can donate and the number of forthcoming children per candidate. The gamete donor’s identity remains hidden, and the clinic can reveal it to the conceived child upon a counselor’s approval if the child’s age is below 18 years. The sperm donor is the child’s biological father.
The donor undergoes comprehensive medical tests. The collecting center screens the donor for HIV, chlamydia, and hepatitis. It conducts chromosomal analysis and genetic screening for conditions like sickle cell, cystic fibrosis, and Tay-Sachs disease.
In some cases, the select donors undergo genetic screening for over 250 health conditions. The clinic conducts all the tests meticulously. Unhealthy sperm transmits genetic and health disorders to the embryo. The outcome also attracts heavy legal penalties for the clinics involved.
Even after acceptance into the donor program upon passing all the health tests and biodata screening, the candidate undergoes periodic re-assessment. The semen undergoes quarantine for 6 months, after which the clinic tests it again for infectious diseases.
According to Australian law, sperm donors are not to receive any donation payment. They only qualify for reimbursement of the costs they incurred during the exercise.
Sperm donation is a noble act. Donors should seek independent legal advice and professional counseling. These steps help a potential donor understand the donation process in various jurisdictions and all possible implications of engaging in a sperm donor program.